My Elevator Pitch

This is my first personal post here.  Not that everything I chose to post here isn’t somewhat personal.  I take supporting arts engagement and learning very personally.  But I thought I would provide a bit more about the day to day workings of my office and position. For reference, the name of my office is University Life Arts Initiatives and I serve as the Director.

I was recently asked by a development person, “How do you describe what you do?”.   My response was, “it depends who is asking and how much time we have.”  If it is a casual conversation with little time, an elevator pitch if you will, it goes something like this “I advise and support 43 student performance groups and provide arts related campus programming.”  If the person is generally interested in more information and we have the time, I can give them the more formal “My office has four goals, to support art making, to offer civic engagement opportunities through the arts, to provide career networking and training in the arts, and to encourage campus and local engagement in the arts.”  Of course it can go from there, and if you think about it, it is likely that you still have no idea what I actually do.  The common mistake is to think that I produce or provide quality assurance or content for the student shows.  I do not in fact do that.  What I do helps to create the space and opportunity for our students to do that. What I do is different every day, and as varied as development and assessment work to facility management and career guidance.  Here are a few of the things that needed to be taken care of today, in no particular order:

  • Phone conference with a friend of an alum who has developed a new social media tool that might be useful for our groups
  • Quick overview of production policies and procedures with the leaders of a student group who missed the meeting the other 42 groups went to in January
  • Invites and reminders for our Alumni Performing Arts Career Symposium in March
  • Continue drafting/editing our appeal/search for more rehearsal space for the next couple of years due to a pending building closure
  • Talking to tech folks about why an rss feed calendar function is listed alphabetically instead of by date
  • Scheduling rehearsals
  • Printing posters
  • Nagging a printing company that is supposed to be printing posters and postcards for a major event later this month
  • Signing for packages
  • Setting up meetings to discuss our policies regarding singing valentines (yup we have policies for that!)

You get the idea.  This is a pretty typical day with only a few scheduled meetings.  On a day with more meetings, I get less done, and inevitably return from meetings with more to do! But I am not complaining (at least not this time).  I love my job; I have for 15 years!  I work in a space where I get to see students dance, hear them sing, watch them rehearse and talk with them about everything from their shows to their classes and future careers.  I know that the students who participate in the arts have a rich and fun college experience and I help to contribute to that.  I am getting better at the elevator pitch, but it will never quite accurately describe what I do.

One Response

  1. What a neat job you have! 🙂

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